COWI A/S is an international consulting group, specialising in engineering, environmental science and economics, with headquarters in Lyngby, Denmark.

Founded1930 (1930)
FounderChristen Ostenfeld
Key people
Lars-Peter Søbye (CEO)
ServicesEngineering, environmental science and economics
Revenue 2 Billion (2020)[1]
€ 43.3 million (2015)[1]
Total assets€ 402.9 million (2015)[1]
Total equity€ 135.7 million (2015)[1]
OwnerCOWIfonden (the COWIfoundation) (85%)[2] Present and Former Employees (15%)[2]
Number of employees
6,600 (2019)[3]
SubsidiariesFlint & Neill

It has been involved in more than 50,000 projects in 175 countries and has approximately 6,400 employees, including engineers, biologists, geologists, economists, surveyors, anthropologists, sociologists and architects.[4]


COWI was founded in 1930 by civil engineer Christen Ostenfeld.[5] Wriborg W. Jønson became a partner 16 years later. From 1946 to 1973, the company operated as a partnership under the name of Chr. Ostenfeld & W. Jønson. The initials of the two senior partners lent the company its name.

In 1973, the company became foundation-owned enterprise and was renamed COWIconsult, Consulting Engineers and Planners AS. In 1995, the company changed its name to COWI Consulting Engineers and Planners AS, eventually becoming COWI A/S in 2001.

In 2008 the firm bought Flint & Neill, a UK civil and structural engineering consultancy specialising in bridges.

In November 2014, the firm acquired Donaldson Associates Ltd, a UK base tunneling specialist company. At the time of acquisition, Donaldson Associates Ltd had 150 staff, operating from 5 UK offices and one international office in Hong Kong.

In November 2018, the firm acquired Arkitema Architects, a danish architecture firm. At the time of acquisition, Arkitema Architects has 550 staff, operating from 5 offices in the nordics. Arkitema Architects is the largest acquisition of COWI to date.


COWI Holding A/S is an unlisted Danish public limited liability company jointly owned by the COWIfonden (the COWIfoundation) holding 85% of shares with the remaining 15% of company shares held by current and former employees from eight different countries where COWI operates. The company regards employee shareholders as co-owners. The current company structure was adapted in 2010.[2]


  1. "Key Figures (5 Years)". COWI. 31 December 2015.
  2. "About COWI Ownership". COWI. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  3. "Meet our employees". COWI. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
  4. "Facts and figures - the quick version". COWI. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  5. "1930 - 1940: A nightclub – the first step towards an international company". COWI. Archived from the original on 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
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